Archive for the ‘speedy sewing’ category

Speedy Patterns update 2013

April 6, 2013

The Stitchers Guild annual Sewing With A Plan contest comes to an end on Tuesday April 30. So it’s time for an update of patterns that can be sewn in less than 2 hours – to help with any last minute sprint to the finishing line 😀

The SWAP requirement this year is to make a couple of different capsules of :
5 items : 3 tops, 2 bottoms, or
4 items : 2 tops, 1 bottom, 1 dress
plus a linking item which can be worn with both groups.
Giving a total 9, 10, or 11 items.

There’s a very wide variety of patterns available which the pattern companies claim can be sewn in less than 2 hours.
As there are dozens of them, I’m giving more information here about the few that I haven’t covered before, and just giving links to the ones I’ve shown drawings of previously.

[2015 update : There’s a download pattern line, Seamwork from Colette patterns, which claim to be makable in less than 3 hours.]

This list includes patterns that are oop but still available from US BMV (in 2013).

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Wardrobes and outfits

Simplicity 1561 described as sleepwear, but could be tunic, camisole, pants


Simplicity 5314 – sleepwear robe and pants. Shorten the robe for casual jacket-pants.


Simplicity 8589 – quick maternity wardrobe, for wovens.


Previously mentioned patterns :
New Look 6816 – knit top, skirt and pants.
Butterick 5225 – Life Style Wardrobe coded Easy rather than Very Easy. Butterick say it (presumably each garment) needs 2 hours of sewing time.

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Nancy Cornwell’s 90 minute fleece book has patterns for capes, ponchos, vests, scarves.

Previously mentioned patterns :
McCall’s 6209 – ponchos with a variety of shapes and necklines.
McCall’s 3448 – even easier, 1 hour ponchos.

And see the capes below.

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Make on the day needed. (Though, having once supervised the making of an entire Shakespeare play costumes in style like the nativity ones, in 2 days, I wouldn’t recommend this for peace of mind !)

McCall’s 2339 – nativity.


McCall’s 6142 – clowns.


McCall’s 4139 – vampire capes.


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Simplicity 1609 is a vintage 60s dress pattern for wovens, which they call a ‘Jiffy’ dress. In the 60s it was a quick make in comparison to what had gone before. But as it has a back zip and many darts, it’s not quick by today’s standards.


Many quick dress patterns have been shown in previous posts.


McCall’s 6074 – gathered front, sleeveless.
McCall’s 5893 – empire bodice, short sleeve option.


Butterick 5211 – shift, short sleeves.
McCall’s 6551 – shift with 2 necklines, 2 sleeves, 3 hems.

McCall’s 6465 – slightly a-line, 4 sleeves, 4 hems.
McCall’s 6102 – a-line, cup sizes to C and D, sleeveless or short sleeve.
McCall’s 9172 – a-line, sleeveless or short sleeves.

New Look 6804 – sleeveless.
New Look 6889 – sleeveless or cap sleeve.

New Look 6890 – gathered neckline, 5 raglan sleeve options, 3 lengths.
McCall’s 6558 – peasant style, 3 bodices, elastic waist, 4 hems.

This post – Quick patterns update 2012 – tops, dresses
includes quick dress patterns from independent designers.

Or find some of the fabric that is shirred along one side. Simply cut a length to go round you comfortably. Sew one seam to make a tube with the shirring at one end, and there’s a sun-dress. Well, you might like to take the time to add some straps.

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I haven’t found anything new, but there are many existing possibilities.


Butterick 5224 – many empire waist options.
McCall’s 5241 – cascade style cardigan, 3 front lengths all with the same back.


Butterick 4989 – various cascade/ waterfall front options.
McCall’s 6084 – cascade shawl collar with 4 sleeve lengths.

Butterick 4138 – unlined blazer they say can be made in 2 hours ! Choice of pocket styles and long or short sleeves.
Not so quick, the Palmer-Pletsch 8 hour jacket, McCall’s 6172.

These posts – Quick patterns update 2012 – skirts, pants, jackets, and Fast jackets – both include quick jacket patterns from independent designers.

Least-effort jacket ? Shirley Adams shows how to make a fleece jacket in a few minutes – in her Bog coat video.


McCall’s 2260 – unlined vests

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Several tops which I have given pictures of before, and which are still available :

New Look 6807 – 4 raglan sleeve options, knits.
New Look 6892 – raglan ‘peasant’ style, many sleeve options, wovens.

McCalls 5855 – 1-hour kaftan.

Butterick 5948 – dartless pullovers with various necklines, body and sleeve lengths. Site used to say they could be sewn in 2 hours, but no longer does. Borderline perhaps!

The 2015 Palmer-Pletsch shirts are :
McCall’s 6932 3 hour camp shit.
McCall;s 6613 band collar shirt – makes no time claims !

And many of the dress patterns can easily be shortened to make a top.

This post – Quick patterns update 2012 – tops, dresses
includes quick top patterns from independent designers, mainly for knits. Peggy Sagers demonstrates sewing Silhouette patterns 600 Classic Blouse for wovens in 1 hour in her associated webcast.

Many people have tee/ knit patterns they can make in a whiz on a serger/ overlocker. But if the pattern company doesn’t claim that, I haven’t mentioned it.

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Previously mentioned patterns :

McCall’s 5430 – wrap flared skirt.
Silhouette 2050 – straight wrap skirt with darts, button closure, no vertical seams.
McCall’s 6567 – elastic waist skirt with various lengths and hems, also a mock wrap version.
Simplicity 2368 – dirndl, mock wrap and 4 gore styles, 3 lengths.

Or make a dirndl skirt by cutting 2 fabric rectangles and sewing a casing for elastic around the top.

Skirt and pants
Simplicity 2414 – tiered skirt + elastic waist pants.

Butterick 5153 – one-seam pants, for women, men, children, various lengths.
McCall’s 6568 – elastic waist pants, 3 lengths, 2 leg shapes.
McCall’s 5889 – 1 hour tapered leg pants include several lengths.

This post – Quick patterns update 2012 – skirts, pants, jackets – includes quick skirt and pant patterns from independent designers.

new pattern 2015 : Simplicity 1068 for knit skirts and pants.

– – –

Dozens more quick sewing patterns at AllFreeSewing. Though of course there’s no guarantee of the quality of the patterns or instructions.

What a rich selection, so many styles to choose from – pretty, casual, elegant, business-like. Which do you like ?

24 days left to the end of the SWAP contest.

So you need no more than 5 minutes of sewing time a day to make one of these patterns in the time available.

Or – whew – starting from scratch ? There are so many of these patterns to choose from – you could make one item a day starting from now, make a whole SWAP wardrobe, and finish with two weeks to relax and recover before the end of the contest !

Enjoy your sewing, make what you love.
So only do speedy sewing if you find it fun 😀

– – –

Patterns and links available (some patterns oop and only from US BMV) April 2013

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Speedy patterns 2012 : skirts, pants, jackets

April 7, 2012

It’s the final weeks of the Stitchers Guild Sewing With A Plan contest for 2012. So here are some more speedy patterns to fill the last minute gaps 😀

I’ve already posted on the quick top and dress patterns available.

Here are some patterns for skirts, pants and jackets which the pattern companies claim can be sewn in 2 hours or less.

– – –

Skirts and pants

Few of the patterns in my previous post on quick skirts and pants are still in print.
Happily there are several to add.


Textile Studio Brussels one-seam skirt with elastic waist


Textile Studio Manhattan skirt with darts, zip, back slit, several lengths


McCall’s 5430 wrap skirt


McCall’s 6567 elastic waist skirt with various lengths and hems, there’s also a mock wrap version.


These patterns from my previous post on quick skirts are still in print :
Simplicity 2368 skirt with dirndl, mock wrap and 4 gore styles, 3 lengths.
Silhouette 2050 straight wrap skirt with darts, button closure, no vertical seams.


Butterick 5153 one-seam pants, for women, men, children, various lengths


McCall’s 6568 elastic waist pants, 3 lengths, 2 leg shapes


Silhouette 3400 yoga pants. Also webcast and DVD about using this pattern. Webcast and DVD say how to convert for wovens.


Textile Studio Soho Pant, slim fitting with darts and invisible zip.


Combination patterns

Simplicity 2414 tiered skirt + elastic waist pants


New Look 6816 for knit skirt, pants and top


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I haven’t found many new patterns for jackets, but fortunately several of the patterns mentioned in my previous posts are still in print.
Wardrobe patterns
Layers and capsules
Fast jackets

These are some to add :

McCall’s 6084 is a cascade shawl collar jacket for wovens with 4 sleeve lengths


In an e-mail Peggy Sagers says a couple of Silhouette patterns for knits can be made in an hour :

Silhouette Patterns 195 Sweater set


Silhouette Patterns 211 Nina’s top


Not so quick, but there’s a new version of the Palmer-Pletsch 8 hour jacket, McCall’s 6172.


Sadly the Butterick 4138 pattern which claims you can make a blazer in 2 hours is now out of print 😀

For outerwear, there’s McCall’s 6209 ponchos, which have a variety of shapes and necklines, not all shown here.


Still in print from previous posts :
McCall’s 2260 unlined vests
Butterick 5224 knit jackets.
McCall’s 5241 knit cascade style jacket has 3 front lengths all with the same back
Butterick 4989 cascade/ waterfall jackets
McCall’s 3448 ponchos

And nearly all the patterns in my post on fast jackets from independent designers are still in print.

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This year the focus of the Stitchers Guild Sewing With A Plan contest is Tried ‘N True patterns you can use repeatedly to make clothes that work well for you.
Would any of these speedy patterns fill that role for you ?

So have you got time to complete your SWAP wardrobe ?

23 days of SWAP left. Goodness, make one garment a day and you have time for Nancy Nix-Rice’s whole 23 item wardrobe 😀

Holiday weekend – enough time to make a ‘Core 4’ of top, jacket, skirt, pants.

Or, if you’re just missing one item for SWAP, find 15 minutes a day for the rest of the month.

Happy Sewing 😀

– – –

(P.S. here are free patterns for ultra-quick skirts and pants.)

– – –

Patterns and links available April 2012

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Speedy patterns 2012 : tops and dresses

March 24, 2012

It’s nearly the last month of the Stitchers Guild Sewing With A Plan contest for 2012. So perhaps people are searching for quick-sew patterns to fill the last minute gaps in their wardrobe 😀

Here are links to my previous posts on speedy patterns. These were written nearly 2 years ago, and sadly some patterns are now oop.
Wardrobe patterns
Fast jackets
Skirts and pants
Layers and capsules

Here are the patterns I’ve found since then – patterns that the pattern companies claim only take 1 to 2 hours sewing time.

Double/ treble that time to include pattern adjustments for fit, cutting out, seam finishing, pressing. Say 4 to 6 hours needed in all. (I like to work very slowly :D)

There are 37 days of SWAP time left. Could you manage 10 minutes of sewing time a day ? or one day of concentrated sewing ?

Surprising numbers of patterns to mention, so I’ve needed to expand this to several posts.
This one on tops and dresses.
Plus links to some pattern ranges that don’t have specific timings but use very easy techniques, so presumably are quick to sew !

More planned on skirts, pants, vests, jackets, outerwear.


Many tops can of course be lengthened to dresses.

These patterns from my previous post on quick tops are still in print :
Butterick 5948 – basic classic dartless tops.
New Look 6807 – 4 raglan sleeve options, knits.
New Look 6892 – raglan ‘peasant’ style, many sleeve options, wovens.

These are some top patterns from Textile Studio to add to the list :

Textile Studio Tank top, Shell – shell (lower in diagram) for knits


Textile Studio Monaco shell – for knits or stretch fabrics


Textile Studio Santa Monica tee – for knits or stretch fabrics


For a woven blouse/ shirt, there’s Silhouette patterns 600 Classic Blouse, which Peggy Sagers demonstrates sewing in an hour in her webcast.


P.S. In an e-mail Peggy Sagers says these Silhouette patterns for knits can be made in an hour.
115 Anne’s top (cowl neckline)
219 Rachel’s knit top (sleeve emphasis)
312 Giorgio’s top (princess seams and peplum)
Also 95 Brooke’s top for wovens.

– – –


Not sure if the pattern companies think all these dress styles can be sewn in only two hours, or only the simplest versions !

Many dress patterns can of course be shortened to tops.

These are some new ones to add to my previous post on quick dresses.

Textile Studio Milan dress


Textile Studio Madison Avenue dress, for knits


McCall’s 6551 shift with 2 necklines, 2 sleeves, 3 hems.


New Look 6889 dress, cap sleeve option


New Look 6890 dress, 5 raglan sleeve options, 3 lengths


Textile Studio Basic dress


McCall’s 6102 dress, a-line, cup sizes to C and D, short sleeve option


McCall’s 6465 dress – slightly a-line, 4 sleeves, 4 hems (longer one not shown here)


Textile Studio Provence dress


McCall’s 6558 3 bodices, elastic waist, 4 hems


These patterns mentioned in my previous post on quick dresses are still in print :
New Look 6804, sleeveless.
McCall’s 6074, gathered front, sleeveless, for knits.
McCall’s 5893, empire bodice, short sleeve option, for knits.
Butterick 5211, shift dress, short sleeves.
McCall’s 9172, a-line, short sleeves.
McCalls 5855, kaftan.

– – –

Pattern ranges using the easiest techniques

Some other pattern ranges offer an even wider selection of simply sewn styles, though they don’t make claims about sewing time.

For softer current styles, see the Simplicity Sew Simple range (don’t appear to be available in the UK).

If you like more ‘arty’ styles, there are Shapes patterns, some of which have only one or two main pattern pieces.

Textile Studio have some other patterns they say take 2-1/2 to 3 hours sewing time.

Patterns specifically for beginners are presumably quick to sew – for people who are beyond the beginner stage 😀

There are Simplicity ‘Learn to Sew‘ patterns.

And some of the BMV patterns picked for their “Sew Cool in School” program look easy.

Also Kwik Sew Kwik Start patterns are well known for their clear instructions.

I don’t personally think some of the BMV designations about ease of sewing are all that helpful. Very Easy Vogue, and some McCall’s Easy patterns, seem to me to be need Intermediate skills, and certainly wouldn’t be quick to make 😀

– – –

A surprisingly large range of different possibilities.

You won’t find a quick fitted style, as you need an opening to get into them. Which means buttonholes, zip, or wrap styling. Not speedy to do well.

How about taking this quick sewing to the extreme ? If one of these garments only needs 10 minutes a day to get it done in the 5+ weeks before the end of SWAP – take 2 hours a day and you’ve got time to make 12 garments, a whole wardrobe 😀

So best wishes for getting some quick results, if that’s what you enjoy 😀

– – –

(P.S. here are free patterns for ultra-quick tops and dresses.)

– – –

Patterns and links available March 2012

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Fast Jackets

January 8, 2011

Has the Stitchers’ Guild jackets sew along made it onto your list of Resolutions ?

Most people who hear the word ‘jacket’ immediately assume lengthy hours of advanced sewing skills are essential. Well, there are sewers who can make a tailored/ structured jacket in a month. And good for them.

But many jacket patterns don’t involve tailoring. They’re ‘dressmaker’ styles with no lining which need little more skill than making a top – often much less skill than making a shirt with band collar and proper sleeve placket. As my fabric stash consists mainly of miles of quilting cottons, I need to make casual jackets and shirt-jackets to use some of it up !

So, what about making some jackets really quickly ?
How about a jacket a day 😀

– – –

There are some jacket patterns which can be made in a few hours. Just the thing if you get to the end of a month and find you haven’t made anything at all 😀

I’ve already listed the Big 4 speedy jacket patterns which claim to take only a couple of hours sewing time. Three patterns for knits. For wovens, there are jackets all the way from casual cascade to formal notched collar. Even two quick outerwear jackets.

Since that post, McCall’s have added another 1-hour knit jackets pattern – McCall’s 6208.


There are also a few jackets among the speedy wardrobe patterns..

Make all those, to get you well on the way to a dozen jackets.

What about patterns from independent designers ? They rarely claim how long their patterns take to sew, but there are a few.

– – –

Textile Studio often do give sewing times for their simple stylish patterns. There are a couple of jackets (originally designed by Loes Hinse).

Capri jacket : 2-1/2 hours sewing time.


Shawl Collar jacket – also 2-1/2 hours.

I have the Florence jacket, said to take 2 hours to sew. Discontinued but still available from The Sewing Place.


– – –

CNT patterns also have a couple of timed jacket patterns.

One, no. 2401, is even called ‘Start after breakfast finish before lunch’ (though personally if I was matching stripes at the raglan seams I think I would take a bit longer than that. . .)


And they say their ‘A Little Somethin’ jacket’ no. 2501 is a 3-hour project. Slightly dropped shoulders, shawl collar.


– – –

Silhouette patterns don’t give specific sewing times on their site, but the instructions often suggest how many sessions you need. I have one quick one – no. 85 Sweater Wrap says it can be made in one session.


It isn’t obvious from the photo or line diagram, but this is a fun circular shape with added sleeves. Could be made without the sleeves, as a wrap vest. (Styling assumes it’s made with a serger, the seams show so need a good finish.)

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Yvonne Porcella’s Cardigan Jacket from Project Sewing Workshop. Claims to be the ‘easiest jacket ever made’. Not so much so I suspect if you’re tempted to embellish 😀


(P.S. I now have this pattern. Yes, very easy if you know what you’re doing. But it would be polite to say the instructions are confused. No line diagrams to clarify the style options, nor suggested fabric layouts etc. Definitely not for beginners or for people who like clear instructions. If you only have 3 hours for a project, you’ll use them all on trying to understand this pattern.)

– – –

There are some minimal DIY patterns available online. I’ve decided in general not to review online patterns. But I can’t resist mentioning this one.

Watch Shirley Adams show how to make a jacket without using a pattern at all, and only 2 seams – in her Bog coat video. Make a fleece jacket in 10 minutes.

– – –

MacPhee Workshop patterns don’t give specific sewing times, but her patterns focus on quick techniques.

In particular, there are several jackets in the ‘It’s Magic’ section which have only one pattern piece. Her ‘Magic Coat’ no. 150 is a tidied-up version of the bog-coat. As is no. 154, ‘Night and Day’.

There’s also the ‘World’s Easiest Parka’ with 2 pattern pieces, in the Coats and Jackets section.

I would refer to these patterns more often, but the diagrams are so tiny they aren’t worth reproducing.

– – –

There are other Big 4 patterns which aren’t quite so quick, but don’t require complex skills. Though beware that most Very Easy Vogue patterns would be ranked Intermediate in difficulty by other people !

Look at the Butterick jackets section. There are about a dozen jackets labelled ‘Fast & Easy’

Or the Vogue jackets section. There are more than a dozen labelled ‘Very Easy Vogue’.

And there are about a dozen more jackets in the Very Easy Vogue Separates section.

– – –

What about going the other way and advancing your skills, but still on relatively quick projects. Perhaps working toward ultimate jacket making skills by doing some tailoring.

For quick tailoring, there’s the McCall’s 6172 Palmer-Pletsch blazer pattern, supported by the Palmer-Alto book ‘Jackets for Real People’. (P.S. There’s now also a DVD, Jackets for Real People.) This jacket is interfaced with fusibles. They claim it takes 8 hours sewing time (after practice !). Three lengths so you can get it right for your own proportions.


Tailored styles are not right for me. I’d be more likely to advance my skills by making a trench coat. Such as Silhouette patterns no. 1925 Barbara’s Trench. The instructions say that can be made in 3 sessions. Hah ! For me that would be more like 3 months 😀


– – –

These are just a few examples of what you could do if you want to go a more complex, though still quite quick, jacket making route. But there are so many quick and easy patterns, there’s no need to despair that you need to improve your sewing skills and take lots of time if you want to make several jackets in one year. And you have only got to make one jacket in the year to join the sew-along !

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Patterns and links available January 2011